Helen Pannitt is the owner of BFA member Helen James Flowers in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Following on from the success at Chelsea this year, she was contacted by the China Flower Association inviting her to compete as the UK representative in the 2019 World Floral Art contest being held at the International Horticulture Expo in Beijing, China.
Helen has competed in two Interflora Florist of the Year finals, won a Silver medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, achieved numerous first places & best in show awards at the NEHS Harrogate Flower Shows.
She has been commissioned on several occasions by the NEHS to create themed pieces for the Harrogate show. The attached photo shows the Floral Carnival costume she made of entirely all fresh materials.
She also gained first places & The Jimmy Nuttall trophy at BFA Fleurex. In 2017 Helen was runner up in the BFA UK Florist of the Year final. In 2019 won a Gold medal & the title of RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year!
The Expo is opened by the Chinese President during a two hour ceremony akin to the opening of the Olympic Games. It’s open to the public for six months with an expected 16 million visitors. This is the biggest exhibition the world has ever seen and is situated at the foot of the Great Wall of China.
The competition is split into 2 rounds over 2 days- The preliminary round is a closed contest and will include 3 tasks where all the materials will be supplied by the competitor. The final round will include 3 tasks all of which are surprise items and is an open contest performed live in front of the viewing public.
The competition runs for 2 days 18/19th August and all the work is on display at the expo until the 26th August.
Helen said ”There will be at least 30 competitors representing their own nations so I’m expecting a tough event!!”
Tracy Tomlinson, BFA Association Manager and member of the UK Floristry Judges Guild commented ” I have been watching Helen’s success for many years and absolutely delighted that she will, at last, be competing on an international level and we all wish her well” .
We will be posting updates via social media as the contest progresses.